Limiting contingency fees won’t lower health costs

first_img Limiting contingency fees won’t lower health costs ABA report also finds lawsuits are not having an appreciable effect on doctors’ malpractice rates An ABA task force has concluded that a proposed Florida constitutional amendment limiting lawyers’ contingency fees in medical malpractice cases and other such efforts would not lower health costs for consumers or help doctors stay in business and treat their patients. The Task Force on Contingent Fees, chaired by Ft. Lauderdale attorney Steven B. Lesser, released its report on October 8 and found that malpractice lawsuits are not having an appreciable effect on doctors’ malpractice rates. The task force included lawyer representatives from corporations and insurance companies as well as former Bar President Edward Blumberg. It spent a year studying medical malpractice and contingency fee issues. Among its conclusions: • There is no hard evidence that contingency fees have significantly affected the malpractice insurance rates paid by doctors. • There is no evidence that contingency fees have resulted in a higher number of frivolous or “junk” lawsuits. The task force found that only about 2 percent of actual malpractice or medical negligence results in a claim. • There is evidence that some injured patients are not filing meritorious claims because of the high costs of investigation and litigation of those cases. Lesser said those findings directly affect the amendment on the Florida November 2 ballot. That proposal, backed by the Florida Medical Association, would limit contingency fees in medical malpractice cases to 30 percent of the first $250,000 awarded and to 10 percent above that. “Lowering the cap on contingency fees means that in many legitimate cases involving people seriously injured through negligence and malpractice, an increasing number of attorneys will simply be unable to represent those clients because of the high overhead costs of investigation and litigation,” Lesser said. He added that will hurt both the legal and the health systems. Blumberg said if the kind of fee caps contemplated in Amendment 3 were put into place, it would effectively provide immunity for health care providers, because there would be no lawyers willing to take malpractice cases. He also noted the amendment contemplates no restrictions on the fees insurance companies can pay their lawyers. “The only people who will get hurt are the victims because lawyers will go on to find other specialties,” Blumberg said. “Right now, really, malpractice cases are so expensive only the clearest cases and the most catastrophic injuries get prosecuted anyway and these are the people who will wind up. . . living without the care they need and deserve because they can’t get lawyers.” Lesser said there is clear evidence that medical malpractice lawsuits have the beneficial effect of serving as a deterrent, “keeping doctors and hospitals that have injured people through negligence and malpractice from repeating their mistakes. “Other doctors also are careful not to commit those mistakes and that’s a good thing — fewer mistakes mean better and safer health care delivery for patients and better overall quality in the health care delivery system,” Lesser said. The full report can be found in the ABA’s Web site at http://www.abanet.org/tips/contingent/home.html. Limiting contingency fees won’t lower health costs October 15, 2004 Regular Newslast_img read more


Gang Member Gets Life in Prison for Murder of Mom, Tot

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A reputed ex-MS-13 street gang chapter leader was sentenced Monday to life in prison for fatally shooting a 19-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son in Central Islip three years ago, among others.Heriberto “Boxer” Martinez, 26, had been convicted at Central Islip federal court in March of murder, racketeering, assault with dangerous weapons and related firearms and conspiracy offenses.“Martinez authorized the execution of a young mother, whom he believed had disrespected the gang, ordered the execution of a security guard for doing his job, and … carried out the execution of a fellow MS-13 member who refused to commit senseless, violent crimes,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Martinez’ co-defendant, Carlos “Silencio” Ortega, was convicted of the same charges and also sentenced to life in prison last month.Prosecutors said Martinez helped three of his co-conspirators evade arrest in the murder of Vanessa Argueta and her toddler son, Diego Torres in February 2010.Martinez and four fellow gang members used the same gun to shoot 23-year-old Nestor Moreno, a security guard at El Rancho Bar and Grill in Hempstead, in March 2010 following a dispute over an unpaid bar tab in which Martinez was sprayed with pepper spray.That same month, Martinez and Ortega murdered fellow MS-13 member Mario Alberto Canton Quijada on the beach in Far Rockaway—hacking him to death with machetes—because of his reluctance to attack rival gang members on behalf of the MS-13.last_img read more


CDC sees decline in most foodborne illnesses

first_img As in past years, Salmonella infections were the most common foodborne illness, followed by Campylobacter cases. Shigella, Cryptosporidium, and Escherichia coli O157 infections ranked third, fourth, and fifth. CDC. Preliminary FoodNet data on the incidence of infection with pathogens transmitted commonly through food—10 states, United States, 2005. MMWR 2006 Apr 14;55(14):392-5 [Full text] The CDC said the big increase in incidence of Cryptosporidium cases in 2005 over 2004 was due to a large outbreak at a water park in New York last year. However, there are several caveats. One is that Vibrio cases have increased an estimated 41% since the baseline period. Further, most of the progress on the other illnesses occurred before 2005. For Campylobacter, most of the decline came before 2001, and the rate of Listeria cases in 2005 was higher than in 2002. See also: The CDC assesses trends in foodborne illness by comparing each year’s figures with data from 1996 through 1998, the first 3 years of the FoodNet active surveillance program. On that basis, the agency says the rates of Campylobacter, Salmonella, Listeria, and several other infections were lower in 2005 than in the baseline period, but most of the progress came before 2005. The report shows 44 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a major complication of E coli O157, among children in 2004, the latest data available. That compares with 52 cases reported in 2003. A comparison of the 2005 data with the CDC data for 2004 shows little change in incidence for most of the pathogens. The rate of salmonellosis cases in 2005 was 14.55 per 100,000 people, compared with 14.7 in 2004. The 2005 and 2004 incidence rates for others are as follows: Campylobacter, 12.72 and 12.9; Shigella, 4.67 and 5.1; Cryptosporidium, 2.95 and 1.32 (13.2 per million); and E coli O157, 1.06 and 0.9.center_img The data come from the CDC’s FoodNet surveillance system, which covers all or parts of 10 states with about 15% of the US population. The agency reported the data in the Apr 14 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published today. Apr 13, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The incidence of most major foodborne diseases in 2005 changed little from the previous year and generally continued a slow decline from levels measured in the late 1990s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The surveillance program identified a total of 16,614 laboratory-confirmed foodborne infections in 2005. Salmonella accounted for 6,471 cases, about 39% of the total. There were 5,655 Campylobacter cases, or about 34% of the total. The CDC reports 2,078 Shigella cases, 1,313 Cryptosporidium cases, and 473 cases of Shiga toxin–producing E coli (STEC) O157. The remaining cases included Yersinia, STEC non-O157, Listeria, Vibrio, and Cyclospora. Because the FoodNet surveillance area has increased greatly since 1996, the CDC uses a statistical model to estimate the changes in rates of foodborne infections since the baseline period. Using that method, the agency cites the following estimates of declines in foodborne infections: Yersinia, 49%; Shigella 43%; Listeria, 32%: Campylobacter, 30%; E coli O157, 29%; and Salmonella, 9%. In addition, only one of the five most common Salmonella serotypes—Typhimurium—has declined significantly, the CDC said. CDC report on 2004 FoodNet datahttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5414a2.htmlast_img read more


Cheshire development Embracing change

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Rise in German virus infections spurs concern

first_imgAs recently as Wednesday, Germany’s number stood at 0.65.But since then the country has reported clusters of new cases at slaughterhouses and at care homes for the elderly.The RKI cautioned that it was too soon to draw conclusions but said the number of new infections “would need to be watched very closely in the coming days”.The latest data raised alarm after Merkel only on Wednesday declared that Germany had left the “first phase” of the pandemic behind it and federal states announced relaxations of social restrictions. Football, slaughterhouses In Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, there has been a spike in cases at a slaughterhouse in the district of Coesfeld, where around 200 of the 1,200 employees have tested positive for the virus.Many of them are foreign workers from eastern Europe who lived in shared housing.The regional government has ordered workers at all of the state’s slaughterhouses to undergo testing. It has also delayed the loosening of some confinement measures in the district.An outbreak of COVID-19 at a slaughterhouse in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein has likewise pushed the district of Steinburg over the infection threshold.In the eastern state of Thuringia, Greiz district has reported a jump in infections among residents and employees of several care homes and a geriatrics hospital.There were also fresh fears for the planned restart of the Bundesliga football season on May 16 after second-tier Dynamo Dresden were ordered to go into quarantine over two coronavirus cases. Protests Despite the rising concerns, some Germans believe the country is not moving fast enough in easing the confinement measures.Thousand of people took to streets in cities nationwide at the weekend to protest against the remaining restrictions, such as wearing a mask on public transport and limiting social contacts.Tensions rose at a rally in Berlin on Saturday, where hundreds of protesters chanted “Freedom, Freedom” and some threw bottles at police. Several dozen people were taken into custody.In Munich, where some 3,000 protesters gathered on Saturday, police criticized participants for not sticking to social distancing rules.The demos, which have grown larger in recent weeks, have mostly attracted a mix of far-right and far-left sympathizers. But they are increasingly becoming more mainstream.A well-known politician from the liberal Free Democrats party (FDP), Thomas Kemmerich, came under fire for joining a protest in Thuringia state that was also attended by members of the far-right AfD party. Most shops and playgrounds have reopened, children are gradually returning to classrooms and states are to varying degrees reopening restaurants, gyms and places of worship.German local authorities have however agreed to pull an “emergency brake” and reimpose social curbs if the infection rate rises above 50 cases per 100,000 residents over a week.That has already happened in at least three districts in recent days, according to the RKI.center_img Germany’s coronavirus spread appears to be picking up speed again, official data showed Sunday, just days after Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country could gradually return to normal.The Robert Koch Institute for public health said Germany’s closely watched reproduction rate (R0) had climbed to 1.1, meaning 10 people with COVID-19 infect on average 11 others.The RKI has warned that for the infection rate to be deemed under control and slowing down, R0 has to stay below one.  Topics :last_img read more


‘You can’t play with this mentality’: Granit Xhaka slams Arsenal’s performance in Aston Villa defeat

first_imgXhaka was not best pleased with his side’s performance (Picture: Getty Images)Granit Xhaka has questioned Arsenal’s mentality in their disappointing 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Tuesday night.Trezeguet’s powerful finish in the first half was enough to lift Villa outside of the Premier League relegation zone with one game to go.Mikel Arteta’s side offered little in return and despite having 69 per cent of possession, they failed to register a single shot on target over 90 minutes.The result means that Arsenal will finish outside the top six for the first time in 25 years and their only hope of qualifying for the Europa League is by winning the FA Cup final against Chelsea.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBack-to-back wins against Liverpool and Manchester City last week may have let complacency creep in and after the game, Gunners midfielder Xhaka admitted his side went into the match with the wrong approach.‘In my opinion, you can’t come here and play like this,’ Xhaka said. ‘It’s not good enough and you can’t play with this mentality. Comment ‘You can’t play with this mentality’: Granit Xhaka slams Arsenal’s performance in Aston Villa defeat Advertisement Advertisement Arsenal endured a frustrating night at Villa Park (Picture: Getty Images)‘It was not enough to take something from today, and we knew if we won today, the last game if we won as well we could have got into the Europa League, but now we have to win the FA Cup and we have more pressure. But we will do everything to win the FA Cup now.’When further pressed on what went wrong against Dean Smith’s side, Xhaka said: ‘I think it was Aston Villa, their fight, they put everything out in each half and in my opinion they deserved the three points.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘We have a gameplan and we know they are very strong on set-pieces but we did too many fouls near our box, too many corners against them but we didn’t play our gameplan.‘They were more aggressive than us and deserved it.’MORE: Plane flies ‘Back Arteta Kroenke Out’ banner over Aston Villa vs ArsenalMORE: Brighton to make move for Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-NilesFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 22 Jul 2020 8:27 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2kShareslast_img read more


UK government actuary says solvency plan needed for LGPS schemes

first_imgThe UK government actuarial department has raised concerns about pension funds within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and whether they can continue with their current accrual rate, singling out two closed transport schemes.In a “dry run” report ahead of the 2016 round of statutory valuation of the 91 separate funds in the scheme, the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) signalled concern about two passenger-transport funds now closed to new entrants – the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority Pension Fund and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority Pension Fund – about future solvency. GAD said it was unaware there was any plan in place to ensure solvency for these two funds. The department was carrying out the trial version of a review it will conduct under section 13 of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013. Section 13 will apply for the first time to the 2016 valuation round.Commenting on the two transport funds, GAD said: “In particular, we might have sought to better understand whether the relevant administering authorities had a plan in place to ensure that the fund continues to meet benefits due in an environment of no future employer contributions being available, if section 13 had applied as at 31 March 2013.” While the assessment of these two funds had led to “red flag” labelling for some aspects, a number of open funds within the LGPS had been given amber flags for some of the solvency criteria evaluated.The report uses a traffic-light system of green, amber and red flags to highlight whether action needs to be taken on individual issues.“We may have engaged with some of these administering authorities to discuss the reasons behind these flags,” the department said in its report, noting that none of these open funds had attracted red flags.The section 13 legislation requires GAD to report on whether four main aims are achieved: compliance, consistency, solvency and long-term cost efficiency.In the dry-run report, GAD said there was no evidence of material non-compliance but that there were some inconsistencies between the valuations of the schemes, in terms of the approach taken, assumptions used and disclosures.“These inconsistencies make meaningful comparison of local valuation results unnecessarily difficult,” it said in the report.In terms of long-term cost efficiency, the report concluded that the actuarial department would have engaged with the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund and the Somerset County Council Pension Fund – if it had been conducting an official report – to investigate in more detail whether the aims of section 13 were met.“We may also have engaged with some other administering authorities that had a significant combination of amber flags if section 13 had applied as at 31 March 2013,” it said.last_img read more


C-Kore Supplies New Subsea Testing Tools to North Sea Client

first_imgC-Kore Systems has supplied eight of its newly released C-Kore subsea testing tools to an unnamed client for fault-finding operation in the North Sea.C-Kore released the new ‘in-line’ version of its subsea testing tools, aimed at simplifying the subsea testing process.Greg Smith, general manager for C-Kore Systems said: “Many of our customers have access issues with their subsea equipment. There just isn’t enough space. In the past we’veresorted to extension whips but this introduces another variable in the measurements. With our new in-line units we can now plug directly into the equipment even when clearance is tight, ensuring accurate readings. “Our philosophy is to overcome obstacles with simple easy-to-use products, which is exactly what the new design does.”last_img read more


DepEd to conduct remote enrollment this June

first_imgMANILA – With enrollment for public schools proceeding on June 1, the Department of Education (DepEd) has laid out a system to reduce the need for physical enrollment.In a statement, the DepEd said the implementation of remote enrollment shall take into consideration the resource inequalities and differing circumstances that exist among learners and teachers.It added that enrollment information will be collected through a system that is most convenient between teachers and parents such as phone calls, text messaging or online submission.“In keeping with strict physical distancing measures, enrollment for school year 2020 to 2021 shall primarily be administered remotely,” the DepEd said. “Physical enrollment in schools or other similar activity shall be highly discouraged, even in low risk areas.”For continuing students in Grades 1 to 12, teachers will contact the parents or guardians of their advisory class in the previous school year to collect enrollment data. Parents may also reach out to their child’s adviser from last year.The teachers will also collect information regarding household capacity and access to distance learning of the students.“New data shall be collected this school year to capture information that will be relevant in assessing the capacity of the basic education system, and the appropriate targeting of learners, for the continuing delivery of learning in the context of constraints and opportunities presented by the physical distancing measures,” it noted.Meanwhile, if a student plans to transfer from one school to another, the parents or guardians should coordinate with the receiving school through its published enrollment contact details.Parents of incoming kindergarten students shall communicate their intent to enroll their children through the digital or physical enrollment platforms established by schools.Balik-Aral enrollees, or those who intend to resume their education after dropping out in previous years, shall directly contact their preferred schools, which will register their enrollment and survey data.Prospective students of the Alternative Learning System may communicate their intent to enroll through digital or physical enrollment platforms established by schools and barangays with community learning centers.If ever parents or guardians are not able to submit enrollment data through the established remote platforms, schools may set up physical platforms such as kiosks or booths in coordination with the local government unit.“Physical submission of enrollment data shall be done only in the third week of the enrollment period. The first two weeks shall completely be remote enrollment, where there will absolutely be no face-to-face,” it added.According to DepEd, the deadline for submission of documentary requirements shall be deferred until December 2020 for both public and private schools.Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the schools to accept installment-form tuition payment from students as he also suggested the parents to tap the Land Bank of the Philippines to help parents “who have nothing to come up with” for tuition fee payment.“‘Yung tuition ho sana, I hope that you’d allow staggered payment or installments lang po sa mga iskwelahan,” President Duterte said in an address to the public on Thursday night.“For those who have really nothing to come up to sa bayaran, we have the Landbank and kindly listen to the rules kasi itong Landbank bubuksan namin and you can borrow money to finance the education of your children,” he added. The Landbank has earlier announced a new lending program, LANDBANK ACADEME (ACcess to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities), to boost the capacity of private schools and universities in implementing a “study now, pay later” scheme for students.The state-run bank said it allotted a total program fund of P3 billion in credit support for private high schools, private technical and vocational education training institutions, as well as colleges and universities./PNlast_img read more


Brinn Transmission awards going to IMCA Modified special event drivers

first_imgBAY CITY, Mich. – IMCA Modified drivers competing in designated special events around the country are beneficiaries of a lucrative Brinn Transmission awards program again this season.  Brinn, of Bay City, Mich., also gives a new transmission to the pole starter at the IMCA Speed­way Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s Saturday night main event. All 33 qualifiers for that race and the 12 Harris Auto Rac­ing Race of Champions starters receive $50 product certifi­cates, Informa­tion about Brinn products and dealers is available at the www.brinninc.com website, by calling 989 686-8920, and on Facebook.  Product certificates will be mailed from the IMCA home office within a week after official results from designated specials are received. “Brinn was really one of the first to embark on a sponsorship program of this duration and it is hard to believe we are in the final year of a five-year agreement,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder said. “We’ve enjoyed great success and I fully anticipate putting together another 5-year extension as the racing season progresses.” “We are proud to grow as a partner with IMCA,” Brinn’s Bob Kietzman said. “This past year has been exceptional for our transmissions and related driveline products.  We are looking forward to the future and plan to partner with IMCA for many more years to come.”  Top five finishers at each of 30 designated specials each receive $50 product certificates. All 150 of those drivers will then be entered in a random drawing, with the winner receiving a new Brinn-manufactured transmission.  Kody Johnson of Vestaburg, Mich., won the transmission drawing held last December. 2019 is the fifth of a five-year awards agreement between Brinn and IMCA. This season is also Brinn’s 17th as an IMCA sponsor. last_img read more